ELLE Rising Star 2013: Nicholas Coutts

Well-deserving, Nicholas Coutts, was awarded top honours at the ELLE Magazine and Mr Price Rising Star 2013 Awards

Malcolm and Christiaan served on the judging panel of this years ELLE Magazine’s Rising Star Award this year which seeks find the most promising young designer. The winner will receive work experience from both Mr Price and ELLE Magazine and also create two collections in 2014; A commerical collaboration with Mr Price and an artistic collection to be showcased at the 2014 Rising Star Awards.

Previous Rising Star Awards has discovered talent such as Loin, Cloth and Ashes founder, Anisa Mpungwane. Since her win in 2008 then has showcase in numerous fashion weeks, produced an exclusive collection with Mr Price and was recently awarded Emerging Designer of the Year at the 2013 Africa Fashion Awards. We look forward to seeing similar success from Nicholas, who was loudly applauded for this consistency, creativity and vision.

Malcolm & Christiaan had this to say: “It was such a priviledge to be asked to judge the Elle Rising Star competition . Generally we hate young designer competitions, not because the talent and creativity in South Africa is void, but because we believe that young talent should be nurtured and gain experience before being thrust into the limelight. I suppose it is controversial to say that politics has taken too much control of fashion in SA. Everyone is on the “development” bandwagon, but for the wrong reasons. They want to be seen as doing something for the previously underpriveledged. Well we think the best you can do for anyone in development is to teach them, let them learn their trade, hold their hand and guide them to be successful. Being a designer in SA is more than drawing pictures and making clothes. So many of the young designers that win these competitions either fall by the wayside with huge debt and dissapointment in the industry they love. Even we, started our brand with the misconception “build it and they will come”, and they never came and it cost money and we had to build trust and a customer base and a business sense before we could call it a business. So with the Elle competition we had an opportunity to say our piece to both the magazine and the competition entrants.

The judging panel was a perfect mix of expertise, representatives from Mr Price, from Gordon school of Business and ourselves represented the working side of fashion and complemented the marketing and press side of Elle was Editor Jackie Burger, Fashion Director Poppy Evans and “Skattie, What Are You Wearing” blogger Malibongwe Tyilo. I think the judges learned as much from this experience as the contestants did, It was a great forum to discuss the industry as it is from real experience. It was interesting to see the perception that the entrants had as much as the other judges about working in this industry and i think we all left a little changed. The winner was a unanimous decision, Nicholas Coutts was a little more grounded and open to the journey he was on. Their were others with great design skills, but less compromising and this will act against them in their career. We have always believed at KLUK CGDT that you cannot stand next to a garment and make excuses why it doesn’t compare to any other brands from highest price to most affordable. Ultimately the customer doesn’t care about those excuses, they just want beautiful clothes to make them look and feel good. This is our philosophy, always look after the customers and make them look great.”

Photos provided by SDR Photography

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